Lois Main returned to her home in her little town, following a three-day spiritual retreat. She was eager to share the new insights she had gained, especially about prayer.
The next day was Sunday. When she awakened, she felt strangely depressed. She attributed it to the letdown after her retreat. But when she went to church, she met other women who felt the same way. One woman said, “It feels as if there are children in trouble.” The odd feeling stayed with the women throughout the day, and that night at evening services they continued to pray for whatever was causing the mysterious sense of urgency. It was after midnight when they left the church.
Lois went home. But she could not sleep. Was God trying to tell her something? The ominous feeling grew stronger. Then, she seemed to hear God speaking insistently to her, “Pray for the people [of this town]…. get out and pray for my children. Now.”
“Yes, Lord.” She dressed and went out into the starlit night. She began walking down all the streets of the town praying, “O Lord, protect the people; watch over the children.” She walked past he shopping plaza, the pharmacy, the jewelry store, the inn. At 5:30 a.m. ,Lois slipped back into bed for a few moments rest, feeling that she had done what God asked her to do.
Soon, the town was awake, beginning its Monday morning activities. Little did they realize what lay ahead for them that day. The town was Coalinga, California. At 4:42 that afternoon, May 2, 1983 an earthquake struck the area with such force that nearly every building was destroyed. A Guideposts article relates, “At the Coalinga Hospital, the doctors are geared up for an expected onslaught of victims. Instead, of an onslaught, however, only 25 people came-and most of them with minor injuries. The most severe casualty was a man with two broken arms. Not one life was lost!”
In the days that followed, Lois learned that two other women had also received the urgent messaged “Pray for my people” . They, too, had left their beds to pray through the town. Their prayers were heard and answered.
Prayer is our essential connection with God. We are called to pray for self, others, cities, and nations. Let us obey the call to pray and believe that God will hear us and send His answer.